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1912 H813 Boston Garter Ed Walsh
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $22,515
Extraordinary 1912 Boston Garter of Chicago White Sox Hall of Famer Ed Walsh. The 1912 Boston Garter set is one of the most beautiful card issues ever produced. It is also one of the rarest. In fact, as duly noted in the Standard Catalog, these cards are so rare that if it were not for the checklist which appears on the back of each card, we would not even know what players comprise the set, let alone that there are sixteen cards to the set (each team is represented by one player.) This the only example of Walsh we have ever seen. This card was one of the highlights of a remarkable find in the 1990s of eight 1912 Boston Garters discovered by the family of a turn-of-the-century traveling salesman who sold Boston Garter products. Our consignor had the great fortune to acquire the find directly from the family, and has kept several of the cards, including the offered Ed Walsh, all these years. We believe this may be the only example of Ed Walsh known. If the card looks familar, it may be because images of the cards from the find are well known: For many years the card images have been shared with the hobby through the site of photo expert and collector David Rudd Cycleback (http://www.cycleback.com/garter.html). The Boston Garter Salesman's Find was particularly amazing as fewer than twenty-five 1912 Boston Garter examples are known to exist in total in the entire collecting world. 1912 Boston Garters are unique in that each features a player in the locker room, without pants, in the midst of getting dressed, proudly displaying his Boston-brand garters. In the background are beautiful stadium scenes, featuring ballplayers on the field. On this magnificent example, Walsh is sitting next to his suitcase (with "Ed. Walsh Chicago" on the side of his case and also with "E.W. C.A." on the edge of his case) and with his White Sox uniform hanging on the wall, as he prepares to dress prior to taking the field. The unparalleled quality of the lithography and the unique concept of the set both contribute to making 1912 Boston Garters one of the most distinctive and noteworthy baseball-card sets ever issued. They are also one of the rarest of all prewar sample cards. REA has only offered three individual 1912 Boston Garters at auction (Christy Mathewson in 2004, Bob Bescher in 2007, and Eddie Collins in 2012). REA's Spring 2013 auction was highlighted by the inclusion of the only uncut panel of four H813 1912 Boston Garter cards known to exist. One of card-collecting's greatest treasures, this incredible panel of four cards realized $177,750 and represented perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest prewar pieces in the collecting world. The offered large-format card of Walsh measures 4 x 8.25 inches. This example is bright and crisp, with bold colors. Near-perfect centering and even wear and rounding to the four corners. Various flaws include a diagonal crease in the upper right corner as well as a small tear on the left edge, a chip in the upper right corner (perhaps a torn pinhole) and scattered staining. The reverse of the card is boldly printed with a complete checklist of the set listed. Despite the technical flaws, this card possesses outstanding visual appeal and displays extremely well. This card would be a highlight in even the most advanced card collection in the world. It may also represent the only example in existence of Ed Walsh from the legendary 1912 Boston Garter set. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $22,515
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